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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 8 Hansard (9 August) . . Page.. 2712 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

Yes, I think the Aranda residents have made some interesting comments in relation to where Caswell Drive could go. That is something I gather my colleagues are looking at and will continue to look at. Indeed, if we are not the government after 20 October, I hope the other side will do that too.

I reiterate what I said when we had some debate about this several months ago in relation to the western route. I was very concerned that Labor supports the western route. I was amazed in some respects because I know the committee had the benefit of submissions from Mr James Ferguson, who was then director of the Australian Sports Commission, and some other people. I reiterate what I think I said in an earlier debate in relation to that; that there is a very distinct and real possibility that were the western route to go ahead we would lose the Australian Institute of Sport.

The institute employs hundreds of people. Lots of the younger athletes there go to our schools. It is of immense benefit to the territory. We were talking about economic benefits from the GMC400. I think those benefits would pale into insignificance compared with the sustained year-in year-out benefit we get from the Australian Institute of Sport, not to mention the magnificent sporting facilities there that territorians have the benefit of using. Also, I think there would be significant problems in terms of the use of things like Bruce Stadium, and we all know we have made a considerable investment in that. It is an excellent stadium.

There are just so many problems, I think, with that western route. I just want to reiterate to members that other states would love to have the Australian Institute of Sport, and there would be a real danger of that occurring were that western route to be picked. There has been a lot of angst over this matter and a lot of very genuine concern. There were some good reasons why the route down O'Connor ridge was problematic. Mr Humphries solved that by taking that out, back in October or November of last year.

I wanted to make those points, Mr Speaker, because I would hate to see this Assembly, or the next Assembly, make the wrong decision which would see the Australian Institute of Sport go to some other state capital.

MR KAINE (5.04): Mr Speaker, I support Ms Tucker's amendment to Mr Hird's motion. I do so because I think we are seeing the processes of land planning and development subverted. They are being deliberately subverted by the government. I just cannot believe what I am hearing. What I am hearing is that we do not care what the public thinks about this variation.

The matters that Mr Stefaniak put before the Assembly are totally irrelevant. These variations are about putting a road through an area of Canberra. If this has an adverse effect on the AIS, that is something that can be considered, but that is not the primary issue that is before us. If the committee says it is not going to look at this variation, you can only conclude that it says that it believes that the issues which are raised by the two planning variations are one and the same. If the issues raised by these two proposed variations to the plan are one and the same, why are they the subject of two different variation proposals? Of course, the answer to the question: "Are they one and the same?", is no, they are not. Yet the committee has chosen to set aside the interests of the

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